CREWE Wolves got their season off to a winning start for the first time in their history on Saturday.
Playing at their temporary home pitch at Crosfields, Warrington, many of the Crewe players had further to travel than their Wizards counterparts.
But they started well amid humid conditions and a strong crossfield wind. The ball changed hands frequently but the hosts posted the first score after just seven minutes, when Ian scampered over the line from acting half-back. Peter Leonard converted for a 6-0 lead.
The Wizards kicked the ball directly into touch from the kick-off. Crewe worked the ball upfield and a kick to the corner found James Evans racing in for a try, which Leonard converted.
The visitors hit back straight away with Craig Lawton running strongly to the line. Chris Forster kicked the goal. The game became tight when Matt Taylor broke through the line to run 30 metres and score on the half-hour, making it 12-10.
But three minutes later, Crewe regained their six-point cushion going into the break, when Leonard forced his way over the line.
After the interval, strong running from the Crewe pack began to take its toll on their opponents, but Warrington have a never-say-die approach and were dangerous in possession.
But it was Crewe's Danny Hoyland who posted the first points in the second half after some poor tackling by the Wizards, moving the score to 20-10.
A drop goal from Forster got the Wizards back in the game and 10 minutes later they were further rewarded when Mark Cosgrove crossed for a try.
Crewe sealed an excellent win in the TotalRL.Com Conference when Richard Smith was the beneficiary of a well-worked move, and he dived over for a try which Leonard converted.
A team spokesman said: 'It was a highly entertaining match - both sides can look forward to the rest of the season with confidence. For us it was a promising start for a young side that should get better as they get to know each other.
'It was the first time we have managed to get a win on the first day of the season in our short history, so we are delighted to get off on the right foot and hope to build on this success.'
Rob Johnson, who featured in the first Crewe Wolves' game six years ago, is club secretary at new North East region club Catterick Panthers.
Crewe Wolves are seeking a base to play their home fixtures in Crewe and would be interested in hearing from owners or managers of venues in the town or surrounding area who could provide the facility. Please contact chairman Phil Johnson on 01270 811774.